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MacKay will fit in well at Hibernian says Caley Thistle head of youth

By Andrew Henderson

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Inverness Caledonian Thistle’s head of youth development, Charlie Christie, is looking forward to seeing how Daniel MacKay fits in at Hibernian.

Picture - Ken Macpherson, Inverness. Inverness CT(2) v Ayr United(2). 30.04.21. ICT’s Daniel Mackay celebrates his goal.
Picture - Ken Macpherson, Inverness. Inverness CT(2) v Ayr United(2). 30.04.21. ICT’s Daniel Mackay celebrates his goal.

A fee was agreed between the two clubs for the 20-year-old to move to Easter Road last week after a highly impressive end to the season in the Highland capital.

From what Christie has seen of the Hibees, he believes MacKay can fit right in to Jack Ross’s side.

“It’s a good chance for him,” Christie explained.

“It’s a great opportunity – I think it’s a good club and a good fit.

“Daniel is a very attacking player, and he always has been. I worked with him a lot in the youth, and we saw his potential from a young age.

“Hibs will be a good fit, because they are an attacking team. I know Jack Ross, I like him and he’s a good coach.

“I know there were a few other teams watching him, so when I heard that Hibs were the club, it seemed like a good fit to me.

“To me, it’s interesting that one of Hibernian’s high- flying players is quite similar to Dan in Martin Boyle.

“The good thing is that Dan can play on the left as well, as he did with us very effectively towards the end of the season, he likes cutting in from the left.

“It wouldn’t be too far- fetched to see Dan on one side and Boyle on the other for Hibs going forward.”

MacKay burst onto the scene at the Caledonian Stadium in 2017 as a 16-year-old, becoming the club’s youngest ever player and goalscorer.

Christie’s relationship with him goes back even further than that though, playing for Caledonian with MacKay’s dad and keeping close watch on the youngster’s progress since he was 12.

Even this season, Christie has found himself giving words of advice to MacKay – and he is pleased to see the winger’s hard work pay off in spades.

“With Dan it’s funny, because it hasn’t been all smooth sailing for him,” Christie reasoned.

“He came on in the Challenge Cup final and set up the winning goal for us, and there was quite a bit of hype around him over the following few months.

“Then, as is the case with a lot of young players, his form dipped a little bit.

“Youngsters always want to play every week, and he maybe took badly to being in and out of the team, but especially the last three months of the season he has been great.

“I’ve had chats with Dan constantly over the last two or three years, little chats in the corridor, and he’s the kind of guy that needs that.

“He had highs and lows, even this season. I know there were periods he wasn’t playing from the start and he was getting frustrated and I had a quiet word in his year once or twice.

“I actually turned around to him after he scored a goal and said ‘that’s the Dan MacKay that I know’, and he was chuffed, he knew exactly what I meant by that. He finished the season strongly, so it’s really pleasing.”

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